Currently, 11th in the NHL in goals against, the Rangers have had some issues keeping the puck out of their own net. They’ve given up 96 goals. It’s not awful, but the team that has given up the fewest is the 71 of the Boston Bruins. It’s not an issue, but the Rangers suspect blueline has been a problem for a few years now. Despite the best efforts of Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers’ backend still has some flaws.
With a lot of the blueline still quite young, the roster is still developing on the backend but the lack of a solid defense is concerning. Production from the backend is not a problem, with the Rangers among the best teams in the NHL to see their blueliners contributing. The backend led by the aforementioned Adam Fox score a ton from the backend and that is far from the issue for the New York roster.
Defensively, the Rangers have struggled. Teams have been able to get past the Rangers far too easily as the team has the 10th-lowest shots against them. It’s not bad, but it highlights some of the issues the Rangers have defensively. It needs to get better than the 1,133 shots the Rangers have conceded. This isn’t to say they are one of the worst teams in the NHL defensively, but questions have risen about the ability to contain other teams’ top talents.
If Gerard Gallant and the coaching staff can figure out a way to bring the team into the playoffs with a solid defensive setup, even if it is at the cost of the production from some of the stars, it could help the team win those tight playoff games that they couldn’t seem to edge against the Tampa Bay Lightning last season in May.